“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines…” You likely know the rest. In this New Year, Old You segment, we visit Madeline, the adorable scamp whose bravery is unparalleled among her schoolmates. Author and illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans not only knows how to spin a fun tale in clever rhyme, but also seems to be well aware of the truism that there is nothing more exciting or jealousy-inducing for children than another child’s health emergency.
Half the fun of course (especially for adults) is the awe inspiring armchair traveling you get to do of Paris. The City of Lights is on beautiful display particularly when Bemelmans breaks from his yellow and black palette to show off sights such as Notre Dame, The Gardens at the Luxembourg and The Place Vendome in all of their colorful glory. And lest you worry that you’re a little old to still be obsessed with these children’s book illustrations, don’t worry. You’re just like the Madeleine of another book, The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides. She keeps the Bemelmans murals on her childhood bedroom walls even as we follow her into early adulthood adventures, complete with love triangle, but sadly devoid of any dramatic appendix removals.